- of or for homosexuals: a gay club
- carefree and merry: a gay temperament
- brightly coloured; brilliant: a gay hat
- given to pleasure, esp in social entertainment: a gay life
- a homosexual
ˈgayness n USAGE
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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
gay /geɪ/USA pronunciation adj., -er, -est, n.WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
adj., -er, -est, n., adv.
Etymology:1275–1325; 1950–55 for def. 5;gay′ness, n.
Middle English gai
compare Old High German gāhi fast, sudden
1 . gleeful, jovial, glad, joyous, happy, cheerful, sprightly, blithe, airy, light-hearted;
vivacious, frolicsome, sportive, hilarious. Gay, jolly, joyful, merry describe a happy or light-hearted mood. Gay suggests a lightness of heart or liveliness of mood that is openly manifested:when hearts were young and gay.Jolly indicates a good-humored, natural, expansive gaiety of mood or disposition:a jolly crowd at a party.Joyful suggests gladness, happiness, rejoicing:joyful over the good news.Merry is often interchangeable with gay:a merry disposition; a merry party;
it suggests, even more than the latter, convivial animated enjoyment. 2 . brilliant. 1 . unhappy, mournful. In addition to its original and continuing senses of "merry, lively'' and "bright or showy,'' gay has had various senses dealing with sexual conduct since the 17th century. A gay woman was a prostitute, a gay man a womanizer, a gay house a brothel. This sexual world included homosexuals too, and gay as an adjective meaning "homosexual'' goes back at least to the early 1900s. After World War II, as social attitudes toward sexuality began to change, gay was applied openly by homosexuals to themselves, first as an adjective and later as a noun. Today, the noun often designates only a male homosexual:gays and lesbians.The word has ceased to be slang and is not used disparagingly. Homosexual as a noun is sometimes used only in reference to a male.
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
gay /ɡeɪ/ adj
ˈgayness n USAGE
Gay /ɡeɪ/ n
'gay' also found in these entries: